February is for Relocating Perennials

by Angela aka Farmer Jane on January 3, 2014 · 0 comments

IMG_6835This February we’ll be relocating a number of perennials. Sometimes it takes a few years of observation to see where a perennial will thrive. Over the last few years we’ve watched our grapevines wither, suffer, and languish where they were planted. We have gotten grapes from them, but they aren’t performing at their best. They’re planted on the north side of our property, in full sun on a slight slope, but I think they need a bit more protection from the wind.

We’ll be moving the three varieties of grape to our back courtyard, where they will live in a much warmer and well protected area. We’ll be building a large pergola in the courtyard for CSA potlucks and other functions. The grapes will populate the pergola, and the thick brick walls that surround the courtyard will help break the wind. The warmth of the courtyard walls will radiate out at night, providing a little extra comfort to the vines.

Our next suffering perennials are the fig trees. We lost two trees last year with the heavy frosts. The fig trees we purchased were supposed to be hardy in zone 7, but each year in fall, the fig trees die back and then shoot up from the root in the spring. The five surviving fig trees are located also on the north side of the property. I feel they are going through the same kind of suffering as the grapevines.

We’ll be moving the fig trees onto the courtyard as well. Two will go in large pots, one will be planted near the grapevines, andIMG_0141 two fig trees will be relocated near where we’ll be raising our meat rabbits. My hope is that the courtyard walls will provide some wind relief so that the figs don’t die back to the root anymore. Then we can allow the two fig trees in the rabbit area to grow large, providing shade for the rabbits during day.

On the right is the area where we’ll be raising rabbits in a large colony. In the center of the brick courtyard walls is the gate that takes you into our courtyard. On either side of the gate is where I will be planting two fig trees.

The next perennials we’ll be moving are:

  • Jonathan apple tree
  • Fuji apple tree
  • 3-1 apple tree
  • 3-1 cherry tree
  • 3 crab apple trees

Each of these are located right in front of our house. I planted them there to become the beginning of our apple orchard, but they haven’t done as well at all where they’re located.

We found a second septic system on our property that was abandoned long ago, but still seems active. We didn’t understand why all our other fruit trees were doing well, but these apple trees were suffering. All our trees and perennials were on the same watering schedule, and with the amazing rains we got last year, they should have really picked up in growth. But they didn’t. After discovering the abandoned septic, we created a plan to relocate the apple trees to a much better place. Nothing edible will be planted in the front…just flowers, trees and grass.

We’ll be planting one crab apple closer to the house in a very fertile area. Two crab apples and the rest of the fruit apple and cherry trees will go into the chicken pasture. There, they will be watered via the duck tubs.

All our gorgeous mature artichoke plants were killed by the ducks. Not only did they eat every part of the artichoke plants, but they worked their way into the berms and dug out the crowns and roots of the plants until nothing was left of them. I miss having our beautiful artichokes.

I’ll be starting LOTS of new artichokes this year, because there is something about their presence in the garden that just makes me happy.


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